Goal line technology in football: innovation vs. tradition
Football has always been a sport slow on innovations. While tennis and volleyball have already introduced technological improvements to the game, football has only recently decided to implement similar “challenge technologies”. The truth is that many football rule makers are conservative former players, who believe that the sport should be played as it always was.
However, due to numerous controversies in recent years, in 2014 the governing body of the Premiership (the most watched football league in the world) decided to introduce the long-awaited Goal-line technology. With the experiments with goalside referees and television replays considered flops, it is high-time the sport evolved.
The main idea behind the system is that it informs the referee whether the ball has crossed the goal line and therefore deciding whether a goal should be awarded. The system communicates automatically with the referees watch, sending an alert indicating “Goal” or “No-Goal”.
However, not all goal line technologies work in the same way. There are two types of systems implemented around the world:
- A camera-based system (14 high-speed cameras mounted around the stadium – GoalControl)
- A magnetic field/chip based system in which footballs themselves contain chips, which respond to the magnetic force field on the goal line (Cairos Technologies with Adidas)
Although the system has proved successful in the recent years around the world and months in England it induces mixed feelings in footballers, experts and fans. Some believe that referee mistakes are part of the sport that should not be changed due to the game’s history and tradition.
I believe that the goal line technology is a step in the right direction for football. Mistakes have always been a part of the sport, however with so much money and feelings dependent on the results of games there is no room for mistakes. Just ask Frank Lampard.